Doctors recommend surgery for Bailey

April 2, 2012

Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey was told he will require surgery on his right thumb after meeting with doctors in Boston on Monday, but he will head to Cleveland on Tuesday for a second opinion, the Boston Globe reported, citing sources.

In Cleveland, Bailey will meet with respected hand specialist and surgeon Dr. Thomas Graham.

If Graham agrees that surgery is required, the procedure could take place as soon as Tuesday. It was not clear how long Bailey would be sidelined.

Bailey, a right-hander, discovered the injury in unconventional fashion when he experienced soreness in his thumb while squeezing a shampoo bottle.


The cause of the injury remained a mystery, but Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had a theory.

"Everything I've been searching my mind through — you know, he had that collision at first base [in Bradenton, Fla.]," Valentine said of the spring training game on March 21.

"The only thing I can think of is he went down after the collision and with the adrenaline didn't even realize anything happened. But I don't know. I asked everyone if they saw anything, I asked the weight room, and he doesn't have anything."

Pitching coach Bob McClure said Bailey first experienced the pain shortly after the incident.

"A couple days [after the collision], he was squeezing some shampoo, and said, 'Man, my thumb is sore,'" McClure said.

Bailey had a 3.24 ERA last season, converting 24 of 26 save opportunities.